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1937: The Kriegsmarine re-visted

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  • 1937: The Kriegsmarine re-visted

    In 1937 Hitler restricts the KM to existing vessels, mine warfare, coastal defense, convoy protection, U-boats, S boats, and naval aviation. In short, nothing bigger than a DD.

    This would free up a lot of manpower and industrial potential, especially dockyards.

    Would the invasion pf Norway still be possible?

    With more Condors and U-boats the Battle of the Atlantic would be bloodier, but would there be any other effect?
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

  • #2
    Without the German surface fleet, would the Royal Navy have changed? Would they have shelved the need for the KGV class and started producing DD's and other convoy escorts sooner? Would they have 2-3 more fleet carriers in operation by the start of the war? I don't know, just bringing up thoughts on how Germany's change could lead to other countries' priorities changing, also. Norway might have been possible, just more difficult.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by johns624 View Post
      Without the German surface fleet, would the Royal Navy have changed? Would they have shelved the need for the KGV class and started producing DD's and other convoy escorts sooner? Would they have 2-3 more fleet carriers in operation by the start of the war? I don't know, just bringing up thoughts on how Germany's change could lead to other countries' priorities changing, also. Norway might have been possible, just more difficult.
      Good questions.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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      • #4
        The Kreigmarine used their newest and best Cruiser to invade Norway and it was sunk. Do the Germans get to build Armored Cruisers (Graf Spee, et al) in this scenario?

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          The only aircraft the KM got were in Küstenfliegerstaffeln and Seeitstaffel equipped with obsolescent planes like the He 59. The FW 200 Condor was operated by the Luftwaffe. Göring was very possessive of any and all use of aircraft reserving almost everything for his service. In that respect, he also had very little interest in, or commitment to, using aircraft for support of naval operations or in any role that supported naval warfare.
          For example, during 1940, there were rarely more than a dozen FW 200 available to operational units and typically about half that number were serviceable and flying sorties.

          The Germans likely could have still pulled off an invasion of Norway in the above scenario. However, it puts the likelihood of a Seelöwe invasion of England in more serious doubt.

          I also doubt that the RN would have changed much of their building plan, if any. I could see the Vanguard class being cancelled much earlier as one possible change, but as for the rest, it would probably still be about the same.

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          • #6
            The RN would still have a Japanese Navy to deal with, and that retains it's heavy ships in this scenario, doesn't it?
            The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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            • #7
              Without at least Cruisers I don't think an invasion of Norway can even be attempted?

              At best the Germans would have to commit their entire parachute force to a landing near Oslo and attempt to take the airfield and docks.
              Also try an Eben Emael assault against the Oscarborg Fortress.

              Even should they succeed in establishing themselves in Oslo, it's a long way to Narvik.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                Without the German surface fleet, would the Royal Navy have changed? Would they have shelved the need for the KGV class and started producing DD's and other convoy escorts sooner? Would they have 2-3 more fleet carriers in operation by the start of the war? I don't know, just bringing up thoughts on how Germany's change could lead to other countries' priorities changing, also. Norway might have been possible, just more difficult.
                The KGVs wouldn't have been shelved. They were intended to replace the obsolete 'R' class, which only remained in service because the war began when it did, and were obviously not fit for front line operations. Until the game changer that was the fall of France, the Admiralty had assumed substantial support from the French navy in the Mediterranean, and were casting concerned glances further east, towards Japanese expansionism. At this stage, the eventual importance of carrier aviation was not appreciated, especially since design of naval aircraft had been with the RAF throughout the inter war period, and the RAF had saddled the Navy with a whole series of duff machines! Carriers were expected to be largely for fleet protection and reconnaissance, rather than as strike weapons.

                Had Germany begun producing U-Boats in increased numbers, it would have become obvious that these could only be intended for use against British supply lines, and an accelerated construction programme, probably of frigates and sloops (more effective AS vessels than destroyers) might have been instituted, but this pre-supposes that Hitler viewed Britain as his primary enemy, which was, of course, not the case.

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                • #9
                  How many tanks could be built with the steel that went into Bismarck and ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic?
                  The rescources saves could have gone to the army.
                  "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                    How many tanks could be built with the steel that went into Bismarck and ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic?
                    The rescources saves could have gone to the army.
                    Tanks, or trucks. The Germans were chronically short of both. And the reduced KM demand for fuel would have helped as well.

                    I'm thinking such a move might have lowered tensions between Germany and the UK prior to Munich
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                      Tanks, or trucks. The Germans were chronically short of both. And the reduced KM demand for fuel would have helped as well.

                      I'm thinking such a move might have lowered tensions between Germany and the UK prior to Munich
                      But, it wouldn't have helped with numbers. The two largest truck manufacturers in Germany were Opel (GM) and Ford, in that order. Because both were foreign nationally owned companies their vehicles pre-war were not used by the military. This left a polyglot of smaller companies all building their own designs being bought by the Wehrmacht. So, even if Germany could produce more fuel, it couldn't produce more vehicles to make use of it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                        But, it wouldn't have helped with numbers. The two largest truck manufacturers in Germany were Opel (GM) and Ford, in that order. Because both were foreign nationally owned companies their vehicles pre-war were not used by the military. This left a polyglot of smaller companies all building their own designs being bought by the Wehrmacht. So, even if Germany could produce more fuel, it couldn't produce more vehicles to make use of it.
                        More tanks and artillery, then. The KM heavy surface units certainly wasn't all that useful.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                          But, it wouldn't have helped with numbers. The two largest truck manufacturers in Germany were Opel (GM) and Ford, in that order. Because both were foreign nationally owned companies their vehicles pre-war were not used by the military. This left a polyglot of smaller companies all building their own designs being bought by the Wehrmacht. So, even if Germany could produce more fuel, it couldn't produce more vehicles to make use of it.
                          Mercedes, Mann, Hanomag. Germany was quite capable of producing more trucks, just like it did everything else.

                          Problem with the KG is that they went in the wrong direction because Hitler had no grasp of naval usage or doctrine, nor of their usefulness, and he squandered what he had. He also promoted inter-service rivalry at all times to maintain his own power, which resulted in a critical lack of cooperation between branches of service.

                          At the peak of the U-boat campaigns, the Luftwaffe only provided a total of four aerial reconnaissance aircraft to locate convoys to be attacked.
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                            How many tanks could be built with the steel that went into Bismarck and ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic?
                            The rescources saves could have gone to the army.

                            The steel in all the German heavy ships was a drop in the bucket compared to the near 40 million tons of iron ore that they imported from Sweden.

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                            • #15
                              I'd say they'd be better off not building all the fortifications on their borders they did, along with the massive siege weapons like the Dora railway guns, and cutting back on Nazi civil engineering projects. The steel saved in rebar alone would have been in the thousands of tons at a minimum. The thousands of workers that labored on these projects could have been put into more useful pursuits, like expanding the rail system, or building additional factory space.

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